MetLife Targets Ag Mortgage Business


MetLife Inc., New York, has originated over $1.6 billion in agricultural mortgages in the first nine months of 2011. It provides mortgage loans on farms, ranches, timberland and agribusiness facilities throughout North America.

Statements in the company’s press release look to reaffirm its commitment to this form of lending. Several months ago, it announced it was looking to sell MetLife Bank and in October, it also put the forward residential lending business at MetLife Home Loans up for grabs. It is also one of the largest reverse residential mortgage lenders.

“MetLife continues to be very active in the agricultural lending industry,” said Robert Merck, senior managing director and head of agricultural investments for the insurer.

The company has a $13 billion portfolio of ag loans and has been in this line since 1917.

Among the more recent transactions the company completed included one with Aurora (Neb.) Cooperative, for which MetLife contributed $75 million of a $90 million senior secured loan. Fixed assets principally comprised of grain handling and storage facilities secure the mortgage.

It provided FIA Timber Partners LP with an $80 million senior secured, fixed rate loan, secured by timberland; Central States Enterprises LLC, Heathrow, Fla., with a $56 million, 10-year fixed rate loan, secured by grain storage facilities; and Woolf Enterprises of Fresno and Madera Counties, Calif. with three senior secured fixed rate loans with a combined total of $43 million.

Daily Briefing | Tuesday, November 8, 2011

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